What is Mindful Self-Compassion?
Chris Germer PhD and co-developer of the MSC program quotes:
“Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. Self-compassion is learned in part by connecting with our innate compassion for others, and self-compassion also helps to grow and sustain our compassion for others.”
The research report ‘Relationship between Self-Compassion and Job Satisfaction in White Collar Workers’ studied 300 workers across the Telecommunication, Chemicals, Insurance and Security sectors showing that:
‘Individuals with high self-compassion levels tend to feel less depression, anxiety and burnout thus feel more satisfied with life and are more prone to positive effect. They also tend to evaluate their circumstances with a more balanced and optimistic point of view. As a result, these individuals tend to have higher job satisfaction’
Here are my 5 top tips for cultivating mindful self-compassion and taking it into the workplace
1. Swap self-judgement for self-kindness.
Did you know that 75% of us are significantly more compassionate towards others than to ourselves? Does that resonate with you? Do you believe that being self-critical, self-judgemental and hard on yourself gives you the ‘edge’ you need to keep you motivated and succeed? In fact, research shows us that thinking that way, may actually have the opposite effect.
2. Be your ‘Inner Ally’ instead of your ‘Inner Enemy’
At some point we all fail, make mistakes, fall short and the self-flagellating that comes with that only exacerbates feelings, increasing our stress response. We know from research that our creativity and learning stops when this happens, blocking us from being able to move on. Instead, try being your own inner ally. You might find it easier at first to imagine there is a colleague who is in your situation and then listen to what words of kindness and encouragement you would say to them, then saying something similar to yourself. Research shows that we build new neural pathways in the brain when we practice in this way and over time we break the habitual cycle of self-criticism and replace it with the new habit of self-compassion.
3. Remember you are not alone.
‘I am a failure’, ‘why can’t I get it right?’ and ‘Why does this always happen to me’ statements can feel quite isolating and give the pervasive notion that we are the only ones to be suffering in this way or that it is only us who is making mistakes. Self-compassion develops a sense of common humanity, recognising that all human beings are vulnerable and make mistakes, this is how we learn.
"There is only one absolute certainty in business - we all make mistakes” Richard Branson
4. Cultivate a sense of common humanity in the workplace.
A happy, harmonious and productive workplace is one that feels valued, supported and safe with a bonded sense of shared common humanity. Lead by example and start the ripple effect by:
Taking time to get to know your colleagues and learn more about who they are.
Empathising with a colleague when you see they are having a tough time, so they know they’re not alone.
Lending a hand to someone who is struggling with their workload.
Giving words of encouragement when times are tough.
Praising and acknowledging colleagues for their wins, positive attributes and strengths in front of the whole team.
Letting the team know when you are struggling and need support from them.
5. Create a Kindness Charter or a Kindness Challenge.
Collaborate with others to draw up a company kindness charter for your team or the whole company. You could even draw up a kindness challenge for a day, week or even a month to get everyone motivated to be more kind to themselves and each other using some tips from above and coming up with some of your own. Smiling at someone, giving them a compliment, asking someone how they are, making them a cup of tea, allowing yourself a break are just some of the ways in which we can show self-compassion and kindness.
If you would like to know how The Mind Hub can help create a happier and more compassionate environment in your workplace then please contact Tricia Wilkie on 07776 132083 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.themindhub.co.uk. To help get you started why not download our new Self Compassion Break audio CLICK HERE to discover more.